Jim Tyrell is a Principal in Bressler’s Commercial Litigation group. He has served as lead counsel in the country’s highest profile cases including Agent Orange, Y2K, Deepwater Horizon, and the World Trade Center Litigation. Jim has decades of experience spanning multiple industries including Class Action Litigation, Mass Tort and Catastrophic Loss, Business and Commercial Litigation, Product Liability, Antitrust and Trade Practices, Environmental, and Financial Institutions.
After competing against the top 30 mass tort law firms in the country, Jim was selected to represent the City of New York, and 150 of its contractors, in the World Trade Center Litigation. Appointed by the Court as defense liaison counsel in 10,000 separate cases, Jim became the principal spokesperson for more than 500 defendants in the highest profile mass tort litigation of the century. Earlier, Jim acted as chief trial counsel for Monsanto in the landmark Agent Orange litigation – one of the largest mass tort cases in American history.
Jim’s class action expertise has included representation of AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Avaya in the Y2K Litigation (favorable settlement of more than 80,000 claims); Seacor, a maritime enterprise, in Deepwater Horizon (court ordered dismissal); and DaVita in the National Dialysis Litigation (class certification denied).
In the antitrust arena, Jim’s experience has ranged from price fixing litigation (corrugated containers, fine paper, silver futures) and monopolization (telecommunications and food industries) to mergers/acquisitions (Swedish manufacturer of heavy machinery) and interlocking directorates. He recently defended the Generic Drug Price Fixing Antitrust Litigation.
Jim’s product liability and consumer fraud class action experience has covered chemicals (dioxin, PCBs, phenols, PFOA), consumer products, drugs, medical devices, food, and toys. Notable representations have included: DES - Glaxo; Breast Implants – General Electric; Alcohol – Brown-Forman; Puerto Rico Petroleum Litigation – Exxon; Campbell Soup Product Recall – SunOpta; and Unintended Acceleration – Toyota Quality Advisory Panel. Jim is a Harvard trained mediator and has facilitated the settlement of disputes from massive multi-district litigations to trade secret, contract, and intellectual property matters.
Prior to joining Bressler, Jim served as the Managing Partner of the New Jersey office of an Am Law 10 firm; and, as the Managing Partner of the New Jersey and New York offices of the leading political firm in Washington, D.C., as well as a member of its Executive Committee. He has chaired or co-chaired the Product Liability and Mass Tort Practice Groups of four major law firms. Under Jim’s leadership, the New Jersey office was named by independent organizations as the Best Place to Work of all large businesses in the state.
Jim received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Services (B.S.F.S. International Affairs; summa cum laude; ranked 1st in class; Phi Beta Kappa), and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He served as a Lieutenant in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was a law clerk for the Honorable Leonard I. Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
- Hon. Leonard I. Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
World Trade Center Litigation
Selected, in competition with the top 30 mass tort law firms in the country, to represent the City of New York and 150 of its contractors in more than 10,000 lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage arising from the debris removal and cleanup operations at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks. Appointed by the Court as Liaison Counsel for more than 500 defendants. Led in oral arguments before the District Court and the Second Circuit.
Agent Orange Litigation
Served as chief trial counsel for Monsanto in class actions alleging personal injuries to 10 million veterans and their families from exposure to dioxin contained in herbicides used to defoliate the jungle during the Vietnam War.
Deepwater Horizon Litigation
Represented Seacor, the owner of the ocean-going fireboats that extinguished the fires on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. The client was accused of destabilizing the platform, causing its collapse. Won dismissal based upon immunity doctrine.
Served as lead counsel for Engility, a military defense contractor that provided training to the Croatian army. The client was accused of complicity in genocide against the Serbian population of the Croatian province of Krajina.
Puerto Rico Environment Litigation
Served as lead trial counsel for Exxon in suit against the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board for imposition of unlawful multimillion-dollar fines for alleged environmental contamination. Obtained injunction against enforcement of the fines in the District Court for Puerto Rico and an affirmance in the First Circuit.
Litigation over Arena Reconstruction
Represented Madison Square Garden in litigation arising from reconstruction of the facility.
Served as chief trial counsel for AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Avaya in multiple class actions on behalf of 80,000 customers of business phone systems alleging that the products ceased performing as represented after the turn of the millennium.
Acted as lead counsel for GlaxoSmithKline Beecham in the national diethylstilbestrol litigation involving claims of multi-generational birth defects from a drug prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness.
Breast Implant Litigation
Represented General Electric which manufactured the silicone contained in breast implants.
Nuclear Power Plant Explosion
Conducted three-week trial for a heavy equipment producer which was accused of manufacturing high voltage electrical equipment which allegedly failed causing an explosion at a New York nuclear power plant.
Lead counsel for Brown-Forman, the manufacturer of Jack Daniels and numerous other brands of alcoholic beverages, in lawsuits by alcoholics claiming that the manufacturers were responsible for their addiction. Achieved landmark ruling from the Texas Supreme Court holding manufacturers not liable.
Baby Food Recall
Chief counsel for SunOpta, a manufacturer of natural foods, in a lawsuit involving the recall of 11 million packets of baby food.
Lead counsel for DaVita, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country, in putative class action alleging that its dialysate solution caused increased deaths and strokes during and immediately after the procedure. Defeated class certification.
Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel
Served as chief counsel for the independent advisory panel in response to the Unintended Acceleration Litigation.
Black Lung Litigation
Counsel for a major university and medical center in class action alleging that a radiologist provided false testimony in more than 10,000 black lung cases causing a denial of federal benefits to injured mine workers.
Counsel for Monsanto in multiple cases alleging environmental contamination, property damages and personal injury from polychlorinated biphenyls.
Counsel for a chemical manufacturer in litigation alleging that the burning of dioxin-containing waste product caused air and water pollution and widespread property damage.
Calling Card Litigation
Served as national defense counsel for IBT, a telecommunications company, in nationwide calling card class action asserting violations of the Consumer Fraud Acts of New Jersey and multiple other states.
News & Insights
News & Alerts
Associations & Organizations
- American Bar Association
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- New York County Lawyers Association
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association – Chairman Emeritus
Awards & Honors
Awards & Honors
- Recognized by Chambers USA, New Jersey Litigation: Products Liability, 2006-2023
This award is conferred by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- Selected to the list of Best Lawyers in America,® 2007-2023
- Best Lawyers in New Jersey
- Best Lawyers in New York
These awards are conferred by Best Lawyers. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- Selected to the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, Class Action, 2005-2023
- New Jersey Super Lawyers, "Master of Disaster," 2007
These awards are conferred by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- Included in Lawdragon 500 - Leading Lawyers in America
This award is conferred by Law Dragon, Inc. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- American Lawyer, Lawyer of the Week, Sept. 2011
This award is conferred by American Lawyer, Law.com. A description of the selection methodology is available here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- Marquis Who's Who in America - Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, 2021; Selected for Cover of Millennium Magazine, 2020; Who's Who Industry Leaders, 2022; Who's Who Top Professionals, 2022
Benchmark Litigation: America’s Leading Litigation Firm and Attorneys, 2019-2023
Areas of Practice
- Harvard Law School (J.D., 1974)
Ames Moot Court Competition: Best Speaker – Final Round
- Georgetown University (B.S.F.S., International Affairs, 1971)
Ranked 1st in Class - Phi Beta Kappa
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Tax Court
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit